Interdisciplinary Studies

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Kristin Rainville, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor
Tel: 203-365-7517

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The Interdisciplinary Studies major and accompanying degree educates to the broad sweep of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Together with other Sacred Heart University core requirements for the bachelor’s degree, the major provides graduates with the necessary foundation for successful teaching of academic content in the elementary school.

What will I study?SHU Student in classroom

The Interdisciplinary Studies major for aspiring elementary teachers is designed with the intention to provide candidates with a balanced set of courses in the arts and sciences—English, history, political science, geography, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics—as well as the opportunity to explore one of the aforementioned areas in depth.

Why choose Interdisciplinary Studies at SHU?

This major allows Elementary teachers to prepare with relevant coursework in science, math, social studies and language arts and helps our candidates to acquire greater knowledge and confidence. It also provides excellent preparation for the Praxis II exam, required for elementary certification in Connecticut and other states.

What courses will I be taking?

The Interdisciplinary Studies major consists of a Foundational Core and an Area of Concentration so that students are provided with a broad overview of academic content along with the opportunity to study one academic discipline in greater depth. The foundational core comprises courses in English, reading and language arts; global studies, history, and political science; mathematics; and biology, chemistry and physics. Areas of concentration are English/arts, social studies, math and science.

Upon completion, those who concentrate on English/language arts or social studies earn a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree; those who concentrate on mathematics or science earn a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree.

View Degree Requirements

Is an Interdisciplinary Studies major right for me?

The Interdisciplinary Studies major is designed for students considering the Farrington College of Education’s Five Year Program with certification in elementary education with Masters of Arts in Teaching degree. It meets CSDE regulations for the interdisciplinary major. Students with interests other than elementary education may also select Interdisciplinary Studies as their major.

Will I have internship opportunities?

The Five Year Program offers an internship program in a variety of public schools for 180 days. An important benefit of this internship is tuition assistance equal to the cost of 30 graduate credits. In other words, for Sacred Heat University undergraduates who are admitted to the Five Year Program, their internships pay for most of their graduate study.

Are there special admission requirements?

Students may declare the Interdisciplinary Studies major upon undergraduate admission to SHU. Admission to the Five Year Program takes place during fall semester of sophomore year. The admission requirements for the Five Year Program can be found on our website. Requirements include maintenance of an undergraduate GPA minimum of 2.67, completion of an essay, interview with faculty in the Department of Teacher Education, and Praxis I exam.

What are my career opportunities with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies?

The Five Year Program allows our candidates to receive BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, Master of Arts in Teaching and the State of Connecticut Elementary Teaching Certification. In addition, their internship provides them with significant work experience which will put them in an advantageous position for employment.

Can I study abroad?

The Farrington College of Education offers two opportunities to explore education in international contexts in Ireland and Costa Rica. Activities include interviews with peers in teacher preparation programs, visits to primary and secondary schools, tutoring, and practice teaching, in addition to exploring cultural sites.

More information

What co-curricular activities are available?

Candidates are encouraged to participate at the Education Club and have the opportunity to volunteer at designated public schools in a walking distance from SHU.

What facilities & resources are available to me?

Several undergraduate courses are embedded in local area schools. Also available to students is a Literacy Lab.

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